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Lentil Balls with Spaghetti Squash

I’ve made this recipe a couple of times now; each time I make improvements and modify it slightly! Every time it is delish so have fun with the spices, you can’t really go wrong. It is also very filling and PLENTY for 3 adults. As a bonus, its a whole meal so you can focus on just one dish prep. If you are serving 4-6 you could make a nice salad to accompany this and each person could still get 3-4 lentil balls. We’ve also successfully had this as leftovers for lunch.

1 small spaghetti squash
2 large slices of onion, chopped and kept in separate piles
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed and sorted
3.5-4 cups water
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp almond meal
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (store bought or homemade ~ 20 oz)

Preheat oven to 375°

Cut spaghetti squash in half and scrape out seeds. Fill a baking pan with 1/4 inch water, place spaghetti squash cut side down over water. Bake in oven uncovered at 375° for 30-40 minutes or until a fork easily pokes through the outer skin.

In a medium saucepan, combine water, lentils, parsley, 1 ring chopped onion and pressed garlic. On your stove top cook over medium-high heat for approximately 20 minutes stirring occasionally, leaving the lid partially vented to allow evaporation of water.

Remove lentils from heat and let sit uncovered for an additional 5 minutes or until water is gone. Add cumin, oregano, almond meal, salt and pepper; stir. You want a porridge-like consistency.  With an immersion blender or potato masher, puree or smash the lentils. Set aside.

Once the squash is done, remove from oven and scrape out squash insides using a fork. You will need to hold the squash with an oven mit as it will be HOT HOT HOT. At this time, you can season the squash with a bit of salt and pepper if you’d like.

Use the same baking pan for the lentil balls and sauce. (I’m all about reducing the amount of dirty dishes!) Add your spaghetti sauce and other ring of chopped onions to the pan and stir. Scoop the lentil mixture straight out of the saucepan onto the spaghetti sauce, forming lentil balls. I use one of those mini ice cream scoopers/cookie scoop which holds about 2-3 tbsp. (See slideshow below for step-by-step pics.)

Bake uncovered in the oven at 400° for 15 minutes or until a crust starts to form on the balls and the sauce is bubbling in the pan.

Use a spatula to carefully remove lentil balls with a layer of sauce and place atop the prepared spaghetti squash.

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